Jan 1, 2000
The arrival of postindustrial society has transformed the traditional bases of national power, and thus the methods used to measure the relative power of nations should be reassessed as well. Appreciating the true basis of national power requires not merely a meticulous detailing of visible military assets but also a scrutiny of larger capabilities embodied in such variables as the aptitude for innovation, the soundness of social institutions, and the quality of the knowledge base—all of which may bear upon a country's capacity to produce the one element still fundamental to international politics: effective military power. The authors reconfigure the notion of national power to accommodate a wider understanding of capability, advancing a conceptual framework that measures three distinct areas—national resources, national performance, and military capability—to help the intelligence community develop a better evaluation of a country's national power. The analysis elaborates the rationale for assessing each of these areas and offers ideas on how to measure them in tangible ways. An analyst's handbook, RAND/MR-1110/1-A, is also available.
Introduction: Why the Interest in National Power?
"Power" and "National Power": Some Conceptual Considerations
Reviewing Traditional Approaches to Measuring National Power
Toward a Revised View of Measuring National Power
Measuring National Resources
Measuring National Performance
Measuring Military Capability